Southeast Missouri State University Press

The Gold of Cape Girardeau

Morley Swingle

Winner of the 2005 Missouri Endowment for the Humanities Governor's Book Award
Publication: 2002
Pages: 292

The Gold of Cape Girardeau is an exciting historical novel that begins and ends with a modern-day courtroom drama over buried treasure. Young lawyer Allison Culbertson faces a fierce courtroom battle with one of her former law instructors to uncover the truth of the mysterious gold’s ownership. The secrets of the treasure emerge in a journey back to the steamboating days along the Mississippi River. Two young lovers face myriad trials and adventures together until—in the ultimate test of their love—the Civil War places them, their community, and an entire nation in devastating turmoil. A wonderful blend of historical fact and well-written fiction, this compelling story is full of courageous characters and vivid historical settings.


Morley Swingle is the prosecuting attorney of Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. He has prosecuted nearly 70 homicide cases and tried over 120 jury trials, some featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Dateline, and Forensic Files. The Gold of Cape Girardeau is his debut novel. The sequel, Bootheel Man, was published in November 2007. His true crime/humor Scoundrels to the Hoosegow: Perry Mason Moments and Entertaining Cases from the Files of a Prosecuting Attorney was hailed as “engrossing” and “highly recommended” by Vincent Bugliosi.

Praise for The Gold of Cape Girardeau

“Move over Michener, here’s Morley Swingle with high adventure on the Mississippi. It’s the most amazing historical novel I’ve ever read, opening and closing with absorbing courtroom drama.” Elmore Leonard, author of Out of Sight

“Swingle is a gifted writer with a captivating novel—a tale of love, war, mystery, and drama with authentic history woven into every page. I highly recommend it.”David Limbaugh, author of Absolute Power

Trade Paperback, $19.95
ISBN: 978-0-9724304-0-1

Cloth, $35.00
ISBN: 978-0-9724304-1-8